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The new rules of customer data

Posted on: Wednesday 11th of November 2009

Last night, eloquently supported by William Heath, I gave a master class on Volunteered Personal Information for the IDM (Institute of Direct Marketing).

My concluding summary was:

•    We are in the midst of a once-in-a-century tipping point in the information flows in our society: from ‘top down’ (organisation to individual) to ‘bottom up’ (individuals to organisations and each other).
•    Marketing as we know it was constructed around the assumptions and operational requirements of ‘top down’.
•    Most of its current problems and constraints are a by-product of this heritage.
•    In the course of organising and managing their daily lives – making and implementing decisions – individuals generate huge amounts of new, rich, accurate, timely information about who they are and what they want..
•    An emerging industry of Personal Information Management Services (PIMS) is making it possible for individuals to capture and share this information.
•    For this information to be shared on a mass scale however, three new ‘rules’ of personal data must be accepted: personal information is the person’s; the individual must have control over what information is shared with who, for what purposes; the individual has to derive a genuine benefit from the information sharing process.
•    Once these rules have been accepted, multiple different types of VPI will begin to flow.
•    Separately and together this VPI can help organisations cut guesswork, waste and costs, identify customer needs better and focus available resources on truly adding value: a ‘VPI value explosion’.
•    Every organisation needs to develop its own VPI strategy.

If you want to find out more, get in touch with me at and I will send you a shortened version of my presentation.